Wednesday, April 20, 2016

What I've Been Reading Lately

Back with some quick reviews of some good books I've been reading lately! (Mostly because I had to stay home today with a sick baby instead of sitting at the pool during the big kids swimming lesson - so lemonade out of lemons and all that!)

 The Cruellest Month by Louise Penny

Yes, I'm on a Louise Penny kick, why do you ask? I just find her novels a lot of fun. You know, fun as in you've get to try and solve a grisly murder in a small village while trying to fight corruption in your own police force - tons of fun! This one had a bit of a weird plot line, but the characters and good prose more than make up for it. I still really appreciate Penny's attention to good mystery writing even while focusing so much on the characters. She does a great job juggling all the balls in the air.

 Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling

I thought this was funnier than her first book. I'm a Mindy fan, and I felt that she has really gotten the knack for writing humour honestly, but also with a great deal of maturity. She doesn't hid behind her tv-star persona, not does she randomly interject with pretend wisdom (lookin at you Amy Poehler's disappointing book). It's really a delight to read and you can't read it and not want to be her best friend. Please tell me she has hundreds of best friends - because she's awesome.

Notes from a Small Island by Bill Bryson

I love Bill Bryson. His name on a book is the only thing I need to want to read it and know that I will enjoy it. This book was no different. He chronicles his journey across Britain in the early 90's and it's fascinating to see Britain through his eyes. I'm a dedicated Anglophile so I enjoyed all his little tidbits from mentioning Coronation Street to bad heating. I still can't wrap my mind around the ability to simply walk from town to town, and I'm dying to go to England and spend a year or two exploring.

The Woman Who Was Chesterton by Nancy Carpentier Brown

Wow. I simply loved reading this biography of the wife of my favourite writer. I'm so glad that Nancy Brown devoted herself to researching Frances's fascinating life and bringing it to life through her careful, and thoughtful writing of this book. Frances was a complex woman who could stand on her own intelligent feet, battled depression and family tragedy, married a remarkable man and helped him achieve greatness, all the while loving him and God in an inspiring way. The chapter describing Frances's grief after Gilbert's death had me in tears and I'm still moved thinking about it. I really feel this is an important life to read because their marriage was beautiful and we just don't get to see inside marriages like this very often. Highly recommended.

Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff

This book is incredibly well-written but as a tale of a marriage told from the husband's, then wife's perspectives it wasn't an enjoyable read to me. I found their perspectives interesting, but I just couldn't shake the feeling that the author just hated marriage and was out to write a deliberately damaging story of two people. I'm not sorry I read it, but I just am left feeling a bit sad that this is what marriage is seen as by the majority in our culture.

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  1. I agree, I totally thought Mindy's second was better than her first! And I want her to keep writing more because I will gobble up anything & everything she ever does. (Have you watched The Mindy Project yet? So quirky, so funny, so her!)

  2. Wow we are reading remarkably similar things! I just found your blog through your podcast with Haley Stewart. I just finished "Why Not Me?" and I loved it! I am also reading a Bryson book, but his 2nd book on England, "The Road to Little Dribbling". I really enjoyed "Notes..." though. AND both the Chesterton and Fates/Furies books are high up on my TBR list.

  3. Well, if you ever do come over to explore England, let me know! �� That's what I did, except I never left, and married an Englishman!

  4. Oh my gosh I couldn't even leave the library with Amy Poehler's book. Just, what?! I've been wanting to read Mindy's first b/c the excerpt I read online was actually funny... But should I skip it and just go straight to this second one??

  5. Thank you for these posts. I've read so many good books because of your recommendations. I too love a good mixture of G.K. Chesterton and Agatha Christie! You've got me hooked on Louise Penny and P.G. Wodehouse now :) I really appreciate your intelligent yet approachable writing style. Thanks!

  6. This is an amazing series by Louise Penny. I have bought and read all issues except t\the Hangman, which I cannot find anywhere unless Im willing to pay over $100 for a paperback. I understand the book is a first edition signed by the author but too expensive for me. I will continue to look.

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